The dashing Managing Director of the Poonawalla Group is the perfect gentleman and here’s...
HELLO! Loves: One of the most dapper men in the country, with a wardrobe that rivals most fashion houses combined, Yohan’s sense of style remains unparalleled. After all, if one’s to the manor born, as such he will dress!
HELLO!: When did your sartorial journey begin?
Yohan Zavareh Poonawalla: “I’ve enjoyed dressing since my early 20s. I think as men mature, they start to take an interest in the finer things and being well turned out is a way of life for me.”
H!: What’s your signature look?
YZP: “I like to be comfortable in whatever I wear. When I find a brand with a good fit, I tend to stick it. Generally, I feel most comfortable dressed casually, in a well-cut pair of jeans and a soft T-shirt. Fabrics and cuts are very important for me. However, I’m a firm believer in dressing for the occasion; if I have to attend important events or delegations, I always dress smartly, with a blazer.”
H!: Fashion is ever-evolving—how does your wardrobe remain current while still being true to your sense of style?
YZP: “I like my classics, such as my suits, blazers and jeans. However, additions of shoes and shirts always go with current styles, though whatever I choose holds true to my personal style; comfortable, with the best fabrics and cuts.”
H!: Brands that a man cannot go wrong with?
YZP: “I like Gieves & Hawkes, Etro, Hermès and Gucci made-tomeasure; custom-made shirts and jackets allow me to personalise my colours, fabrics and initials.”
H!: Four items every man should invest in?
YZP: “Investment according to me, is a timeless watch or a vintage car.”
H!: One thing you never leave home without?
YZP: “I would never leave without my mobile.”
H!: Men whom you admire for their style…
YZP: “James Bond—the entire persona.”
H!: What does living well mean to you?
YZP: “Living well for me is being the best version of myself, having the confidence to live life on my own terms, and believing that hard work and sincerity enable us to do so. Along with that, I like to give back to society. I am also very passionate about my personal hobbies, such as restoring India’s pride in and preserving our heritage with vintage cars. For me, showcasing this to the world is part of living well.”
H!: An heirloom that’s been passed on to you that you’ll forever cherish.
YZP: “My late grandfather, Soli Poonawalla, left me his cherished signet (initial) ring. He was very fond of me, especially since I was his first grandchild.”
H!: What advice do you inculcate to your own children?
YZP: “I make it a point to take my son and daughter to all important events and milestones I attend. It’s crucial for the next generation to observe and inherit the values of hard work, good ethics and manners to carry forward.”
H!: A message to the younger generation about manners and style?
YZP: “I’m old school. I believe in manners and being well turned out. When one leaves the house, one must not wear Crocs or slippers past a certain age, unless you are at a beach resort.”
This is an interview from HELLO! India’s November 2023 issue. To read other such stories, check out the latest issue right here.